of the fact that the self-reproach is a hatred directed against the other and, nodoubt, the bearer of an unsuspected sexual desire. It is understandable that suchan accession of hatred in the transference carries its own risks for the analysandas well as for the analyst, and that the treatment of depression (even of thatidentified as neurotic) risks schizoid fragmentation.With the treatment of narcissistic personalities, however, modern analysts (E.Jacobson, among others
) have been led to comprehend a different modalityof depression. Far from being a dissimulated assault upon another - imagined tobe hostile because frustrating - sorrow would be the signalling of an incomplete,empty, and wounded primitive ego. Such a person considers himself to be notinjured but stricken by a fundamental lack, by a congenital deficiency. His grief hides neither the guilt nor the failure of a secretly hatched vengeance against theambivalent object. Rather, his sorrow could be the most archaic expression of anarcissistic wound, impossible to symbolize or name, and too precocious for anyexterior agent (subject or object) to be correlated to it. For this type of narcissistic depressive, sorrow is, in reality, his only object. More exactly, itconstitutes a substitute object to which he clings, cultivating and cherishing it,for lack of any other. In this context, suicide is not a camouflaged act of war buta reuniting with sorrow and, beyond it, with that impossible love, neverattained, always elsewhere. Such are the promises of the void, of death . . .
IS MOOD A LANGUAGE?
Sorrow is the fundamental mood characterizing depression and even if maniceuphoria alternates with it in the bipolar forms of this state, grief is the principalmanifestation betraying the sufferer. Sorrow leads us into the enigmatic domainof
such as anxiety, fear, or joy.
Irreducible to its verbal or semiologicalexpressions, sorrow (like every affect) is the
psychical representation of displacements of psychical energy
provoked by external or internal traumas. Theexact status of these psychical representatives of energy-displacements remains,in the present state of psychoanalytic and semiological theories, very imprecise.No conceptual framework in the existing sciences (linguistics, in particular) hasproved adequate for understanding this apparently very rudimentary representation, pre-sign and pre-language. The mood 'sorrow', set off by an excitation,tension, or energy-conflict in a psychosomatic organism, is not a
response to what sets it off (I am not sad as a response or as a sign to X and onlyX). Mood is a 'generalized transference' (E. Jacobson) that marks
behaviourand all sign-systems (from motility to elocution and to ideation) without beingidentical to them or causing their disorganization. There are grounds forthinking that what is at play here is an archaic
of phylogeneticheritage, which in the psychical space of the human being is
takeninto charge by verbal representation and consciousness. Nevertheless, thistaking into charge is not of the order of the cathexes said by Freud to be'bound', admitting of verbalization, association, displacement. We might saythat the representations proper to affects, and notably sadness, are
energy-traces. Too unstable to coagulate into signs, verbal or otherwise,activated by the primary processes of displacement and condensation, but
ON THE MELANCHOLIC IMAGINARY 7